Welcome to the Literacy page for High Wycombe Church of England School.
Literacy is one of the core areas of our curriculum because developing the ability to communicate effectively and to comprehend both the written and spoken language leads to success in all other areas of the school curriculum, in the world of work, and in most aspects of day-to-day life.
The development of reading and writing skills are of the upmost importance to our school and we strive to equip our pupils with these abilities so that they become more independent, confident and resilient in their learning as they progress through our school.
Our intent is for our pupils to become avid readers who are excited about books, and we believe that our outstanding phonics teaching from their first full week in Reception should ensure that our pupils learn to blend and decode words confidently and fluently.
We provide our children with numerous opportunities to speak, expressing their opinions and articulating their feelings, with intent to build confidence and adeptness in speaking – a skill that will serve them well as they progress throughout the school and beyond. We also provide them with opportunities to listen to others and respond appropriately, both within and outside of lessons. Our pupils learn to speak confidently in front of their class, as well as before an audience that they may not know as well, such as in assemblies, collective worship, school productions and external events.
Furthermore, we intend for our pupils to develop a passion for writing. We strive to equip them with the ability to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions in their writing, clearly, cohesively and creatively. We intend to create writers who can read, edit and improve their own writing and help them develop the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling so that they can confidently implement it into their work. We hold incredibly high standards for our pupils, which they rarely disappoint us on. We encourage them to take pride in their work by adopting a fluent handwriting style from Year 2 – 6, and to always strive to do their best.
Mr Smith, Literacy coordinator.
Reading is fundamental in our modern society and shapes us as critical thinkers, learners and questioning citizens. Learning to read and reading to learn is the key to unlocking all areas of the curriculum and is the foundation for the future educational success that we want for all of our children at High Wycombe Church of England School. The power of reading is immeasurable. Reading feeds their imagination and opens them up to a world of wonder and joy. We strive for all of our children to discover the magic in reading, develop an appreciation for and love of reading and instil the habit of reading for pleasure.
Writing is a vital skill for living in the modern world and, at High Wycombe Church of England School, we want our students to be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. Writing is a tool that is often used to demonstrate children’s understanding across the curriculum. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and effectively and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. The children of High Wycombe Church of England School are encouraged to see themselves as writers, who write as readers, and have a wide range of vocabulary, an excellent knowledge of writing techniques, as well as a clear understanding of genre and text type. They evaluate, edit and improve their work and understand that writing is a process. We also aim for all of our children to discover the magic in writing, develop an appreciation for and love of writing and instil the habit of writing for pleasure.
We provide a thriving reading culture for all children in our school; sharing books that open windows into new worlds and hold up mirrors for our children to see themselves reflected in. Through effective teaching and intervention, children are equipped with the essential skills to ensure that they become competent readers.
Beginning their reading journey with phonics in Early Years and Key Stage 1 provides children with a direct route to becoming novice readers. They subsequently move to whole class reading lessons that focus on the development of vocabulary, comprehension skills and the immersion in a wide range of high-quality texts. These lessons also instil excitement and pleasure in reading. This enjoyment in reading is further demonstrated by daily reading aloud (class texts) and various other strategies such as regular opportunities for rich book talk, our inviting library and children regularly witnessing their teachers as readers.
We provide a thriving writing culture for all children in our school. Through effective teaching and intervention, children are equipped with the essential skills to ensure that they become competent writers. All staff appreciate the inextricable link between children’s reading and effective writing and this is at the core of teaching. Teachers expose children to high quality texts across the curriculum that provide effective models for their own writing. They are able to develop their understanding of text type and build up their writer toolkit. Children are given appropriate time and are taught strategies to edit and improve their work. Spelling and handwriting are taught weekly and vocabulary development is embedded across the curriculum. Cross Curricular Writing is embedded across the school and is an opportunity for children to embed their writing skills and knowledge about genres with an exciting and engaging stimulus.
Ultimately, reading is a crucial component to children’s future educational success and achievements in life.
Children at High Wycombe Church of England School perform well in statutory tests in both phonics and reading, though more importantly, they leave us as competent readers, who can both read to learn and read for pleasure, in order to offer them the best possible opportunities in life. We strive to ensure that our children also leave us as ‘forever readers’ who are able to capture the magic of reading which will, in turn, develop their self-esteem and have a direct, positive impact on their future wellbeing.
We aim for children to be enthusiastic writers who enjoy writing across a range of genres and for a range of purposes. They will have a well-established writer toolkit, full of writing techniques, effective vocabulary and a range of sentence structures. Children will be able to talk about their own writing confidently, with a sense of pride, and explain specific choices and their effect. Writing skills that children have developed are used across the curriculum and empower them to demonstrate their understanding in all subjects. Children at High Wycombe Church of England School perform well in writing at key assessment points, though more importantly, they leave us as competent writers, who can both write clearly to inform/communicate and write for pleasure.